University of Toledo baseball coach Cory Mee recently completed his seventh season at the helm of the Rockets. Mee is a native of Hilton, N.Y., and was an assistant at Michigan State and Notre Dame for 10 seasons before coming to Toledo. He was named Mid-American Conference coach of the year this past season, when the Rockets surpassed the 30-win plateau for the first time since 1999. Mee was a four-year starter at Notre Dame before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers and playing in the minor leagues for the Yakima Bears in 1992.
What is your earliest baseball memory?
Going to the ballpark with my dad, who was a high school baseball coach, and getting the chance to be the team manager and work out with the high school players.
How did you decide to get into coaching?
When my playing career ended, I had to figure out a way to keep going to the ballpark. I loved playing, so coaching was the next best thing.
If you weren't coaching, what would you be doing?
When I went to the University of Notre Dame, my major was biology. I love the outdoors, so I'd probably be working some kind of job that kept me outdoors.
What's the best part about living in Toledo?
There's a lot of great things about Toledo. My family loves it here. The kids love the zoo and going to so many different games. And the University of Toledo has been great to us. I think my kids are the three biggest Rocket fans in Toledo.
How do you unwind away from the diamond?
I love to spend time with my family. We love fishing, and I can't go fishing enough in the summertime when I'm not at the ballpark. We also love to camp.
What's your best fish story?
I'm fishing in a boat with my three kids, and my oldest daughter Reilly wanted a pink lure. I told her I didn't have a pink lure, but I pulled out a fluorescent orange flatfish I hadn't used in 10 years. She throws it out there and ends up hooking a 37-inch Northern Pike on a kiddy pole and kiddy reel. We didn't even have a net in the boat, so some guy came out in a kayak from the shore and helped us get it in the boat.
What were your favorite sports teams growing up?
Being from western New York, you have to be a Yankees fan and you have to be a Bills fan, so those are the professional teams I followed the most.
Who was your favorite athlete when you were a kid?
Growing up, I really liked some of the Yankees, like Thurman Munson and Don Mattingly.
What's your favorite restaurant?
The two restaurants I think of when I think of Toledo are Tony Packo's and Gino's Pizza.
Where's your favorite place to vacation?
Our family cabin in western New York is our favorite place to go. All my extended family lives just outside Jamestown, N.Y., and that's where we all try to go as often as we can.
– Zach Silka